First, a reminder to be sensible with your priorities. After an accident, the biggest issue is everyone’s safety including doing everything one can to assist with injured persons as well as getting everyone away from further harm. Remember, people first, and then worry about getting accident information.
While pictures are better than verbal and written accident descriptions, it’s best to have a photographic strategy in order to gather visual accident information. Note, that strategy should also include respecting the privacy rights of others at the accident scene.
If you can keep a cool head and a steady hand, consider doing the following:
- Use photos to document injuries but, again, NOT when doing so affects arranging for proper treatment
- Get one or more photos of all of the vehicles involved in the accident from several different vantage points
- Take several close-up photos of any damaged areas, both interior and exterior views
- Be certain to get shots of other important elements such as, vehicle debris, road surfaces (especially if they contain elements that may have contributed to the accident such as ice, ruts, potholes), tire marks (or lack of) and damaged curbs, light poles, guard rails, lawns, shrubs, trees, etc.
- Take shots from a wider view that includes any street landmarks or features that show the position of all vehicles
- Photos should include both single-side and two-side vehicle views\
- Make sure that some of the photos include a clear shot of the vehicles’ license plates and any other distinguisher features, particularly when a vehicle has prior damage
While no one wants to be involved in an accident, if you are, why not be smart and use your smart phone to help with dealing with the accident’s consequences?